Chapter 9. Library Surveys


Hammill, Sarah J. “Tallying the Chad Marks in the Ballot Box: A Survey of Distance Learning Library Services in Florida´s State Universities.” E-JASL: The Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship 9, no. 2 (Summer 2008).
This article provides an overview of the state of distance education library services in Florida´s State University System (SUS). Like many universities, state universities in Florida have seen a dramatic increase in the number of distance learners and online courses offered. The author conducted an online survey of ten universities in Florida´s SUS, in which she sought to identify distance learning library services, make general conclusions about the state of distance education, and make recommendations to improve the state of distance education library services. The article includes an overview of the methodology and survey instrument, and the results of the data survey are provided. The author discovered that none of the libraries surveyed have a distance education librarian and often lack funds to provide proper outreach services to distance education students. Numerous recommendations are made at the conclusion of the article on how the state of Florida could improve its services to distance education students.  M. Houlihan

Hines, Samantha Schmehl.  “How It´s Done: Examining Distance Education Library Instruction and Assessment.” Journal of Library Administration 48, issue 3-4 (2008): 467-478.
This paper reports that results of a survey to benchmark the ways libraries provide and assess distance education library services. The author posed the question of whether larger, wealthier libraries would provide more services and engage in more assessment than their smaller counterparts. The paper reports the results, outlining the types of services offered by the responding librarians at their institutions and the types of assessments undertaken. The majority of libraries offer services specific to distance learners, including websites, online guides, and the shipment of print material, while fewer libraries report teaching classes at a distance. The findings indicate weak or no correlations between most services and assessment for distance learners and the size or wealth of the library.  B. Fagerheim

Toner, Lisa.  “Non-use of Library Services by Students in a UK Academic Library.” Evidence Based Library Information Practice 3, 2 (July 2008): 18-29.
In the interest of listening to non-users and being responsive to change, and considering the scarcity of surveys of academic library non-users in the scholarly literature, this study sought to examine low- or non-use of the library at St. Martin´s College, UK, ultimately revealing that the largest groups of non-users were enrolled in part-time and distance learning courses. The survey was posted to students classified as low- or non-users according to the library database, as well as in classrooms. After paring down the response sample to true non-users, the authors found the largest sectors of non-library users were enrolled in distance or remote location courses, with the majority of respondents citing distance from the main library as the main reason for non-use. Further a third of respondents were never offered any form of library induction (orientation). Determined areas of opportunity therefore included increasing awareness and better training. As a result, St. Martin´s College library has strengthened their relationships with faculty to embed training in the course curriculum as much as possible.  H. Steiner


Renner, Barbara R., Vardaman, Adam S., Norton, Melanie J. “Best Practices for Medical Libraries to Deliver Materials to Distance Learners.” Journal of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserves 17, 3 (2007): 85-97.
Renner et al. briefly describe distance learners in the health field, their work schedules and work habits. The services and costs to distance learners among sixteen health libraries were surveyed. University of North Carolina Health Services Library´s experience is detailed with charges for articles, delivery methods, types of distance students, and relationship with interlibrary loan and other university library services.  S. Davidson


Buck, Stefanie; Islam, Ramona; Syrkin, Darby. “Collaboration for Distance Information Literacy Instruction: Do Current Trends Reflect Best Practices?” Journal of Library Administration 45, issue 1-2 (2006): 63-79.
This paper compares data from a 2005 survey of ARL member libraries´ practices concerning collaboration on information literacy for distance learners with best practices as reported in the literature. The authors compare data from a survey conducted by the ACRL Distance Learning Section Instruction Committee with reports of best practices in recently-published articles in library journals. Methods to provide information literacy opportunities to distance learners in areas such as needs assessment and program assessments, establishing communication with teaching faculty, libraries’ online presence for distance learners, teaching collaborations with faculty, and training opportunities are reported. The authors discuss the areas in which libraries are successfully meeting the challenges of collaboration for information literacy instruction for distance learners and areas of difficulty.  B. Fagerheim

Ho, Adrian K. “Library Services in Support of Distance Learning (2004-2005).” Public Services Quarterly 2, 1 (2006): 107-111.
As the author notes, 2004 was a big year in scholarly literature for library services in support of distance learning with the launch of the Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning. This article aims to annotate the best literature for that time period. Articles annotated include the topics of direct linking, electronic document delivery, virtual reference, website usability testing, and video screencasts. This article thus provides a nice summation of the scholarly literature from the years of 2004 and 2005, with the topics discussed still highly relevant to current practitioners. However, it is probably now most useful for providing historical perspective and establishing context, not necessarily for supporting current implementations, since the types of technologies discussed have, in most cases, significantly evolved over the past five years.  H. Steiner